A Review of The String Arcade

Fans of classic video game tracks and string quartets would be delighted when they listen to The String Arcade. This album comes from Dren McDonald and Jason Poss. The String Arcade is for those who think that video game music and string quartets go together pretty well.

This album pays tribute to the classic tracks from the world of video games. Interestingly, the creation of this album became a possibility owing to crowdfunding. The re-imagining and rearranging has been done fabulously by the composers for string quartet. Jason Poss has worked on the immensely popular film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. Dren McDonald has worked on video game music for the famous games Ravenwood Fair and Ghost Recon Commander.

A carefully curated collection of game music tracks, The String Arcade is available for digital download. The video game music lovers can download it from iTunes, Amazon, Loudr, and Bandcamp. It is also available as a physical CD and can be enjoyed online for free on Bandcamp.

The music

The album contains two bonus tracks that were previously available only to its backers on Kickstarter. It would have the best effect if the listeners have excellent headphones and some silence around them. After nearly an hour of listening, they’ll truly appreciate this album. Of course, it may not be a perfect album, but it’s certainly a delight to hear.

The listeners would come across sections where only a single instrument carries the melody. The album might begin to feel thready and thin to the listener after a while. However, such moments are quite few and far in between. Overall, the music is certainly well-structured, delightful, swift-paced, and varied.


Most of the tracks in the album are of an average duration of about 3 minutes. This would give enough time for the listener to appreciate the music without a feeling of boredom. The tracks in the album take you through many ups and downs. It begins with the fantastically re-imagined Grasswalk. This is a lively tango, in which, the listeners can hear sounds of zombies in the background.

Later, they’ll be able to savor some slow, atmospheric, and strong tracks such as Engii and Echoes of Ecco. Then the pace quickens up before reaching a climax with Altered Beast. Before this, the pace seems to slow down once again with some soothing melodies. They include Turret Suite and Minecraft Theme 1. While listening to Turret Suite, the listeners will hear the voices of turret in the background.

From here, the tracks transition to a more frenetic pace. The listeners would feel this when they’re halfway into Tron Arcade Medley. It continues until the end of the track second from the last, titled Dance of the Space Bugs. As the listeners move towards the last tracks in the album, they’ll come across The Legend of Zelda.

The beautiful re-imagining of this track is truly commendable. It transitions from a slower theme music to a melody of triumph. The local musicians from the Bay Area had performed for all the originial arrangements of The String Arcade. The album has also been graced by Videri String Quartet, a classically-trained quartet based in Boston.

A Review of The String Arcade

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